Episode 40 - How to Go to College Debt Free: Interview with Denise Thomas

1h 1m | Dec 9, 2023


In this episode, I interviewed Denise Thomas about navigating the complexities of higher education financing. Denise shares her personal journey of overcoming financial obstacles and ensuring her children could attend college without incurring debt. She emphasizes the societal expectations around college education, especially for families with college-educated parents or immigrant backgrounds, and challenges the notion that a college degree is mandatory for success.

Denise reflects on her upbringing, unaware of her family's financial struggles, and the pivotal moment when she realized she had to fund her own college education. Despite this, she managed to graduate with minimal debt, thanks to a Pell Grant and working multiple jobs.

The conversation shifts to her approach towards her children's education. Faced with financial crises, including a layoff and bankruptcy, Denise and her family had to make significant sacrifices. This adversity led her to extensively research scholarships and college funding strategies. She discovered commonalities among students who graduated debt-free and applied these insights to her children's education, resulting in them winning numerous scholarships.

Denise's method, detailed in her course "Cracking the Code to Free College," focuses on early preparation, developing a personal brand, and strategic activities aligning with college requirements. She emphasizes the importance of storytelling and marketing in the college application process.

Additionally, Denise highlights her dedication to supporting military families, offering them access to her course at a reduced rate. Her broader mission is to change the national statistics on college debt by educating families on smarter college choices and financial planning.

⭐️About Denise:

Sought after inspiring speaker and coach to parents of college-bound teens, Denise's goal is to inspire, educate, and equip parents who take an active role in supporting their children to live a life of financial freedom. Her mission is to FLIP the student debt statistic in the U.S.

Denise is a 20-year homeschool veteran having homeschooled her two children from Pre-k through high school. They attended their first-choice college on 17 scholarships exceeding $199,000, including the National Merit Scholarship, for 4 years of college debt-free with cash left over! She and her husband have moved more than 15 times during their 34-year marriage and spent 5 years full-time RV-ing across the US and traveling abroad after sending their youngest off to college. (We sold the house and his bed right out from under him...How's THAT for 'your room is no longer available?!')

With more than 7000 hours of research, Denise created a plan that led to an application package that had colleges calling begging her kids to come to their school! In addition, by completing the strategy, she also had the winning application for one of the largest scholarships in the country. Both of her homeschooled kids won the scholarship.

💜 Where to find Denise:

► Get Ahead of the Class:

► Facebook:

☞ Denise’s Book Recommendation:

► The Total Money Makeover Workbook by Dave Ramsey:

► How to Go to College Debt Free by Denise Thomas:

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Personal Finance Cat